The power of content marketing is undeniable. It can drive leads, boosts sales, improve SEO standings, and much more. But there are a couple of glaring problems with content today; oversaturation and repetition.
Because content marketing is so effective brands are churning out blogs, articles, and other content faster than bacteria can multiply, making it incredibly difficult to stand out and get noticed. Even worse, much of what is produced is the same ol’ rehashed drivel that can be accessed on gazillions of other sites. So how are you supposed to gain any traction with your genius creations? Controversy. Dare to go there, and eyeballs will take note.
I’m not simply advocating shock value like some sort of corporate Marilyn Mason, but I do champion stances that are strongly opinionated and have the potential to spark intrigue, pique interests, and maybe even an argument or two. If this scares you, it shouldn’t. What should scare you is posing points that are so vanilla that no one pays you any mind; that is social suicide.
People love controversy. They by no means shy away from it and in today’s socially transparent world, and many seek it out. Donald Trump, anyone? Bullseye.
Let’s take a look at how contentious content can benefit your business.
Build Brand Loyalty
Controversy will likely not build loyalty for all of your customers, and a small percentage may even abandon your brand, and that’s okay. View this as akin to the “follow unfollow” strategy for Twitter; you get rid of the people that were never all that into you to begin with, and you replace those folks with more dedicated customers.
The people that stick with your brand, and even the new ones who discover it, will be passionate and enthusiastic proponents. By projecting a viewpoint that consumers truly believe in, they trust your company is on the same team as they are. And your profits will reflect as much.
Content that takes a stance is much easier to engage with than one that has no voice. By expressing a strong opinion, others will feel the need to do the same and chime in to agree or disagree (both are awesome, by the way.) People love to be right, so the comment section alone is likely to spark debates among those who are interacting.
Through people commenting, discussing, and possibly even arguing, your thread has the chance to blow-up and bring others into the conversation. If you manage to get your audience talking, it will draw more attention to your company and make individuals feel more invested in your brand.
Convey Conviction and Authority
By displaying your company’s strong viewpoint about a given subject, you are showing your audience that your brand has perspectives it is willing to stand for. The companies that never lean one way or the other either appear untrustworthy or downright boring to audiences; both of which are the antithesis of what you are trying to cultivate. By voicing opinions loud and proud, you are creating a level of transparency within your brand; something that today’s consumers not only crave, but now demand.
It is important to note, however, that when producing this type of content, it must be backed by cold hard facts. You cannot take a controversial stance if you don’t have a leg to stand on. Granted that you do backup your claims, it gives your company the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and authority. With the facts laid out, even those that disagree with your view know you have done your due diligence. Knowledge is still power, and brands need to cash in.
When producing content that inspires controversy, it is critical to find a proper balance and fully understand that some topics just should not be remarked upon. Use a discerning eye towards topics that you can capitalize on and what may backfire. Granted that you can distinguish between the two, controversial content can be a massive force in boosting sales, engagement, traffic, and overall awareness.
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